[OPE-L:4683] Re: my reaction! correction

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Tue Dec 12 2000 - 10:34:56 EST

Thanks, David, for the retypoing and resending!  

My question was a genuine question (as in "I don't know the answer") and
was seeking help.  I don't even know how "fruitful" the question is, but
it does concern me as a person who has argued the radical separation of
Marx from Ricardo.  I would prefer to think that Marx was not merely
thinking of Sieber as "quite a useful ally" and didn't want to correct a
supporter. However, I cannot think of evidence to oppose such an
interpretation of why he didn't say/write anything about Sieber's reading
(as far as we know).

I guess the way to approach the question is to ask whether Marx was gentle
with other supporters.  I haven't studied that.  However, I would hope
Marx thought that too much is at stake to let errors or misreadings go
uncorrected.  If this would be correct, we have a problem to solve.

I knew of the Wagner quote and it is one evidence of the problem.  Sieber
basically says that Marx is continuing in the tradition of Ricardo, albiet
with very important improvements.  Marx read Sieber and there is a lack of
evidence that he had a problem with that reading of his own work.

Althusser of course argues the radical separation between Ricardo and
Marx, based upon a "reading" of Marx including his silences.

As to neo-Ricardians, I wasn't thinking about them at all.

Paul Z.

On Tue, 12 Dec 2000 dashyaf@easynet.co.uk wrote:

> Sorry but it is on the website as posting OPEL-4650. I missed a crucial two 
> words from Marx's quote. It is corrected in this version.
> Paul,
> I did send a reaction and you seem to have missed it so I shall retype it 
> for you as I seem to have lost my posting.
> 'How do you reconcile the fact that Marx has a high regard for the work of
> N. Sieber (who wrote a book published in Russian in 1871 which Marx read
> and recommended highly; he also wrote articles in the 1870s on Marx's
> theories) even as Sieber explicitly wrote (and Marx read) that Marx was
> following in Ricardo's footsteps? In other words, if Sieber was wrong,
> why did Marx praise Sieber's work and why didn't Marx correct Sieber?'
> Your mode of questioning is not fruitful. I cannot ask Marx why he didn't 
> correct Sieber. Perhaps because he was the first to popularise and defend 
> Marx's writings in Russia - quite a useful ally in the circumstances. But 
> might I quote something  to you which perhaps throws some light on the issue:
> 'Mr Wagner could have familiarised himself with the difference between me 
> and Ricardo both from Capital and from Sieber's work (if he knew Russian). 
> Ricardo did indeed concern himself with labour solely as a measure of the 
> magnitude of value, and therefore was unable to find any link between his 
> theory of value and the nature of money.'
> Marx/Engels Collected Works vol 24 p534
> There were clear issues at stake in the debate between us and the 
> Neo-Ricardians, as there were between Marx and Ricardo. Our differences 
> concerned the theory of value, money, capital, the falling rate of profit 
> and productive and unproductive labour as well as the transformation 
> problem etc, in short everything fundamental to Marx's position.
> I know very little about Sieber - I do not read Russian - but Marx's 
> position seems in line with what I have argued.
> David Yaffe

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